BOY WIZARD Harry Potter is set to feature in a new enchanted adventure live on stage, following on from blockbusting outings in print and on the big screen.
Best-selling author JK Rowling has announced that a new play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, will open in London’s West End next summer.
The Scottish-based writer said the new drama will explore “an untold part of Harry’s story”, including details of the lives of his murdered parents. However, she said it was “not a prequel”.
The play has not been written by Rowling solo, with the latest story a collaboration between herself and the creative team behind the stage adaptation of the supernatural hit Let the Right One In, which inspired two films based on a 2004 Swedish novel.
It will be the first play about the teenage wizard.
The 49-year-old wrote on Twitter: “It will tell a new story, which is the result of a collaboration between writer Jack Thorne, director John Tiffany and myself.
“I don’t want to say too much more, because I don’t want to spoil what I know will be a real treat for fans. However, I can say that it is not a prequel.”
Rowling revealed she had chosen yesterday to make the announcement because it was “a very special day” – marking the 18th anniversary of the date Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, her debut novel, was first published in the UK.
The new tale was penned by Bafta-winning writer Jack Thorne and will be directed by John Tiffany. The producers are Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender, while British singer Imogen Heap is providing the music.
The seven bestselling books in the Harry Potter series have been adapted into eight films starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, but Rowling said theatre was the best choice for the latest instalment in the fantasy saga.
“To answer one inevitable (and reasonable!) question – Why isn’t #CursedChild a new novel? – I am confident that when audiences see the play they will agree that it was the only proper medium for the story,” she tweeted.
“I’ve had countless offers to extend Harry’s story over the years, but Jack, John and Sonia Friedman are a dream team! It has been a huge pleasure to share with them (and soon, with you!) this untold part of Harry’s story.”
Producers have said the play will focus on “Harry’s early years as an orphan and outcast”.
They said it will feature some of the best-loved characters from the Harry Potter books and offer “a unique insight into the heart and mind of the now legendary young wizard”.
Rowling’s Harry Potter books have sold more than 450 million copies around the world and spawned spin-offs such as the encyclopaedia Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is also being turned into a film starring Eddie Redmayne.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child could ignite a new round of Pottermania when it opens at London’s Palace Theatre in 2016. Thousands of fans queued to get an early glimpse of each new book and film. Tickets go on sale this autumn.